About Vanessa

Vanessa was the definition of an “individual” marching to the beat of her own drum (literally – more on that later).

She lived in Fayetteville, AR with her boyfriend Jamie since 2008.  Where you saw one, you saw the other.  They supported each other through hard times and enjoyed the good times, always putting the others needs first.

I think the best way to learn about Vanessa is just to list some random items from her life that might give you a glimpse of who she was, or remind you of just how special she was:

She had an Associates Degree but was going to graduate in October of 2016 with a Bachelors Degree in Business, a goal she had worked toward for 6 years.  Even when she was ill, she pushed forward enrolling in classes and having Jamie and Jennifer attend her classes when she was in the hospital to ensure she wouldn’t fall behind.

Vanessa worked at the gas company where she was a top performer in the call center and received several accolades.  She had moved from the call center into regulatory and again was considered a top performer.  She loved her job and the people she worked with.  I remember her first day back sending her a text message asking her how things were going – her reply back was “I love it”!

Along the lines of work she had applied for an Ambassadors position with Black Hills Energy to be the spokesperson for the company at local events.  Vanessa was quiet, but wanted and knew she needed those skills to further her career – so full steam ahead she went to make it happen and was so excited when she found out that she had been awarded the position.

As noted earlier – she did march to the beat of her own drum.  She took drum lessons from a professional touring Berkley drummer for quite some time until he went to work in Hong Kong.  Even just a few months before July of 16′, she would navigate upstairs to the drum kit and play for half an hour only to return downstairs to proclaim with a huge smile on her face “I still got it”!

Along the lines of her interest in music, she could play “Who’s Crying Now” by Journey on the piano and had recently bought a professional level “How To Sing” course and had started her lessons.

Her favorite band’s were Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx.  She had seen all of them in concert, but her actual favorite band to see in concert was “Steel Panther”, who she chose to be her “remission treat” in January of 2016.

She had a special shirt she would wear to eat dinner as she was notorious for spilling and dropping food when she ate.  It was a coat of many colors for sure.  Also, when she did eat dinner, we had to turn the TV volume up to cover up any eating noises because they would drive her crazy.  A trait her and Jamie shared.  She loved “Taco Tuesday”, but who doesn’t and her eating shirt always got a workout on that day…

Vanessa could not tell a joke.  Period.  Anytime she tried it would turn into half an hour of “do overs” and “oh wait” or “I forgot this part”.

She took a gun safety course with her best friend Krystal and had plans to eventually get her conceal and carry license.  As I understand it, Krystal and her had a blast at the class just like they did anytime they were together.  Concerning her and Krystal, I can’t tell you how many times I would come home late from a gig and hear music and karaoke blasting from the house with her and Krystal inside.

Her favorite semi-local band was Members Only.  The band would send her shirts, make her personal videos of encouragement, and dedicate songs to her at their shows.  It was a given that anytime they were in town, she was going to be there!

Vanessa was as generous as they come.  There were plenty of Christmas’ where times where money was pretty tight, but she always was able to pull an Angel from the Christmas tree at work to ensure a child would have a present to open.  Most of the time it was more than one…

She worked hard to ensure her daughter had every opportunity she didn’t.  She pushed and supported her with tutoring, dance, gymnastics, swim lessons, soccer….etc. etc. etc.  She worked hard to instill in her daughter how to work hard and be successful in life.  She lived this example for her daughter to learn from and was a wonderful loving mom.

Memorial Video